Welcome, Ronica! I’m glad to be talking with you about your book, A Shadow in the Dark. Could you please give us a little auto-biography?
I’ve been a book lover most of my life. I had difficulty learning to read, but once I caught on, I seemed to always have a book as a hand extension. To this day, I’m hard to catch without a book.
As a child, I wanted to be a writer, librarian, judge, or missionary. I’ve worked (paid or volunteer) as all but the judge. I’ve found most of my writing falls in the inspirational market, which nicely blends my lifelong interests in being a writer and a missionary.
Mmmm, book hand extension sounds like me. :) Please tell us a little bit about the plot of A Shadow in the Dark.
Following her parents’ divorce, young teen Kirsten Hart reluctantly moves to the country with her mom and brother. She goes door-to-door to the neighboring houses, attempting to introduce herself and make friends. A four-year-old neighbor boy tells her a girl her age lives in the farmhouse across from hers. When Kirsten goes there, an old woman answers the door and, after hearing what she wants, slams the door in her face.
Kirsten meets another neighbor girl, Gail, and the two keep seeing signs that a young person lives with the elderly woman, but she never comes outside. Kirsten and Gail become fearful that someone is being held captive in the home. They step deeper into danger with only the God that Gail believes in as backup.
What inspired you to write A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, the other book that’s in the series?
An incident similar to what occurs in A Shadow in the Dark happened to me when I was younger than Kirsten. I had been visiting my grandmother in small-town Minnesota, and she had warned me away from a neighboring house. She wouldn’t tell me why she wanted me to stay away, but she seemed scared. Years later, I discovered what she knew. This served as the spark for A Shadow in the Dark.
The sequel, Living It Up to Live It Down, shows Kirsten’s life after Gail has gone away and Kirsten returns to school as a new Christian. Her old friendship with Danette and Madison disintegrates, and she attempts to befriend Sarah, a preacher’s daughter and popular ninth grader. Kirsten believes pretty popular Sarah will make a great role model for her as she grows in the faith. But Sarah cheats, lies, pulls pranks, and dates guys against her father’s wishes. Sarah becomes another mystery for Kirsten: If Sarah believes in God, why doesn’t she straighten up?
How long did it take you to write A Shadow in the Dark?
I think it was a little over a year.
What is the biggest thing you’d like a reader to take away from A Shadow in the Dark?
Knowledge that even if life seems rough, they are never alone in what they’re experiencing. God has gone before and is with them even now.
Your biggest fan and supporter is…
My best friends, Diane and Cheryl. They always buy my books, donate them to libraries, and talk them up. They’ve helped me get into schools as a visiting author and have both served as subjects for magazine stories I’ve written. Neither one has as much interest in writing as I do, so I think that shows what wonderful people they are that they care about something because they know I care about it.
What wonderful friends! Is there a random fact about you that most people don’t know?
I probably spent more time in the principal’s office than outside it in third grade. Most people don’t know this because my family moved while I was in third grade. In my new town, I was considered a goody-two-shoes and star student. But both experiences contributed to what I know about life as a child and influence what I write.
What is one thing you dread doing?
Public speaking. For some reason, though, TV interviews and question-and-answer questions at conferences and schools don’t bother me. I guess I like speaking off-the-cuff more than formally presenting.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished Bliss (a novel about modern-day life in Turkey) and have switched to nonfiction (a travel guide) to plan a family trip to New York this summer.
Thanks for coming, Ronica! Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you?
Yes, I keep a blog and Web site at www.ronicastromberg.wordpress.com
They can also read more about my books and order them at
Thanks, Charity, for inviting me to spend time with you and your readers!
Thanks again, Ronica. :) I hope you all enjoyed getting to know her better! I sure did. Let me encourage you to read A Shadow in the Dark!